Debate about ‘discipline’in schools almost invariably takes the form of empirical enquiry about which methods are most effective in securing it. This is to neglect a substantial part of the problem – the prior moral issue about the proper way to educate children. The main difficulties here are conceptual. Two rival ways of conceptualising ‘educational order’are identified and examined. The received, traditional way is found to be disingenuous, incoherent and unworkable. The alternative – a reconstructed child-centred approach – escapes these problems and is commended. This conclusion is tested by investigating how each maps on to the project of moral education, for which school discipline is a neglected central arena.